As Ken Lim once pointed out, you don't need talent to be a successful pop star. I don't mean to detract from Taufik Batisah's win; only to help place it in perspective. Glitz and glamour are driven by equally illusory impressions of democracy and talent. For truth, look to the money.
But any trace of spontaneity from the public in official broadcasting is controlled and absorbed by talent scouts, studio competitions and official programs of every kind selected by professionals. Talented performers belong to the industry long before it displays them; otherwise they would not be so eager to fit in. The attitude of the public, which ostensibly and actually favours the system of the culture industry, is a part of the system and not an excuse for it.
-- Adorno and Horkheimer, "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception"